9:20 pm January 22, 2010, by David O'Brien
Ease in Woodstock
January 22nd, 20109:23 pm
January 22nd, 20109:24 pm
Enter your comments here
As Bradley suggested, now I will go back and read the article…
This day last year was when the list of non-roster camp invitees was released. Any idea when that will be released this year?
January 22nd, 20109:26 pm
thanx for the new blog Dave
January 22nd, 20109:27 pm
Thanks for the new blog, DOB.
I like Schafer. He’s got a great attitude.
January 22nd, 20109:30 pm
HTF, list already came out about a month ago, when Joe Thurston and Mitch Jones and a few others were on it. Only addition since then was reliever Chris Resop. I’ll try to find link to my story from back then if it’s not still on our Braves page on the website.
Just added a Schafer poll to the blog above.
January 22nd, 20109:32 pm
I gotta believe Schafer is on the team in August so he can assume a playoff roster spot.
January 22nd, 20109:33 pm
HTF, I just fished my Dec. 17 story out of my documents file. Here it is. These are the non-roster invitees, along with reliever Chris Resop, who the Braves had a couple of years ago.
By David O’Brien
Veteran utility infielder Joe Thurston and minor league home-run leader Mitch Jones were among six players signed to minor-league contracts by the Braves that include invitations to spring training, the team announced Friday.
The others were outfielder Brent Clevlen, who hit .265 with 16 homers for the Tigers’ Class AAA Toledo affiliate, and three from the Braves organization: left-hander Mariano Gomez and catchers Orlando Mercado and J.C. Boscan.
Thurston hit .225 with one homer and 25 RBIs in 2009 for the St. Louis Cardinals. He had 22 extra-base hits including four triples in 124 games, serving primarily as a backup at second and third bases and pinch-hitting. He also played sparingly in left field.
The well-traveled 30-year-old has a .225 average and one homer in 333 at-bats over parts of six seasons with the Dodgers, Phillies, Red Sox and Cardinals.
Thurston had just 66 at-bats in the majors until last season, when he hit .303 in 23 games through May 4, but .199 in 101 games the rest of the way.
In a 10-season minor-league career, Thurston has hit .295 with 250 doubles, 68 triples, 67 homers and 182 stolen bases. He hit .316 with 11 homers and 19 steals for Class AAA Pawtucket (Red Sox) in 2008.
Clevlen, 26, spent eight seasons in the Tigers organization. He has a .233 average and three homers in 73 major league at-bats, and a .261 average with 97 homers and 471 RBIs in 880 minor league games.
The Jones signing had been reported Thursday. He led minor league baseball with 35 homers last season for Class AAA Albuquerque of the Dodgers organization, while batting .297 with 103 RBI in 108 games.
Jones has hit .255 with 235 homers in 1,069 minor league games, including 70 homers in 878 at-bats over the past three seasons.
The Braves previously announced the signing of reliever Scott Proctor to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. He’s recovering from elbow surgery and should be ready by May.
January 22nd, 20109:34 pm
I missed it! Soph
Well it’s not over. But it was nice seeing them dominate while I watched for a change. Usually when I turn the game on the opponent goes on a 29-1 run.
January 22nd, 20109:37 pm
who still wears a ballcap backwards, over his ears
If my ears were that huge I’d wear a hat to cover them too.
I was watching it and then the Bobcats came back. I flipped to something else for a while and forgot but I see we took over.
Usually when I turn the game on the opponent goes on a 29-1 run.
Well then you need to tune in every game! Clear your calendar for when the Hawks play the Cavs, Lakers, and Magic.
Bay Area Steve
January 22nd, 20109:39 pm
Schafer needs a big AAA year, and Roman Gal is still driving the bandwagon.
Heyward needs to kill it for two months at AAA. Patience, folks, and pray the Baseball Gods smile upon Melky.
Andruw was incredible, and doesn’t deserve the vile he gets here.
There are times, such as the end of the last blog, that I wish I could stab many of you in the eye with a fork.
Matt the Brave
I think that it would be an interesting outfield with Heyward in right, Schafer in left, McClouth in center, and Diaz as utility OF. If the two younger players live up to their potential, then we would have some pop and a lot of speed in our outfield. Depending on who ends up being manager after this season, speed might be a good thing to have!
Eric from MO
January 22nd, 20109:45 pm
Wow didnt know Andruw had 56 SB in a minor league season.
DOB assuming the Braves dont sign Damon does that mean either Heyward or Schafer will be on the team to start the season? Seeing how the Braves have indicated that Schafer will start the season in the minors that almost means Heyward will start in Atlanta. Unless there is another scenario that I am overlooking.
January 22nd, 20109:47 pm
Thanks for searching for the article DOB, but I meant the in-house invitees that aren’t on the 40-man like Heyward, Freeman, Schafer, and Hanson were last year. I’d like to see who is going to get the shot to be in the big league camp.
Outfielders Nick Markakis and Rocco Baldelli are the only such players who played more than 30 major league games in the past decade after having fewer than 200 at-bats above the Class-A level in the minors.
McCann only had 166. Or is Myrtle Beach considered above Class-A since it’s A Advanced?
January 22nd, 20109:49 pm
January 22nd, 20109:51 pm
Pujols only had 104 at bats and that with including Class A Advanced
January 22nd, 20109:52 pm
Dammit. Look at the Hawks being all lackadaisical.
Ok, nevermind. They’re okay now.
I do not like Zaza
I just wouldn’t bet against Schafer being traded by August since we have more than a few health questions on the team. We could be tooth and nail with Philly or the Mets by then and like DOB mentioned, one of those two relief guys could go down. So many things could happen that one would be a fool to try and predict anything.
January 22nd, 20109:54 pm
I just wouldn’t bet against Schafer being traded by August since we have more than a few health questions on the team. TnB
I’d rather they traded Melky. Roman Gal paid me to say that!
January 22nd, 20109:55 pm
Oh, and cab if you’re here – I saw your post about the rain earlier. Glad it’s not bad – I was watching the news today and saw stuff about mudslides so I was worried about you guys.
January 22nd, 20109:56 pm
are they in mudslide territory? I didn’t think they were.
January 22nd, 20109:58 pm
nolie – I have no idea. I wasn’t really paying attention to the news but I heard the words mudslide and California and thought about them.
Schafer needs the time in AA Mississippie are AAA. he’s missed almost two full season, playing only 1/4 of games 08 and 1/4 of games in 09. But he will be back maybe July 2010 if he works hard.
Everyone seems to like to cut down Milkey but I believe like Wren & Braves Management that he’s going to surprise a few fans. Hope so anyway.
January 22nd, 201010:00 pm
Eric from MO: Only other scenario, other than signing Damon (or someone else), or having Heyward in RF, would be to have Diaz in left and Cabrera in right, presumably Hinske and Infante backing up.
January 22nd, 201010:03 pm
he’s barely a league average which is actually below average for a corner OFers and he is coming to a tougher park. That’s probably why..I think they got him as the 4th OFer after Heyward comes up, that is what he is best suited for. we can all hope he gets it done
January 22nd, 201010:05 pm
Pujols only had 104 at bats and that with including Class A Advanced — Eric from MO
Only talking outfielders. But anyway, Pujols played Juco ball. We’re talking only about guys drafted out of high school, not college players. Pujols was 21 as a rookie, by the way. He was 20 in his only minor league season.
January 22nd, 201010:06 pm
great article DB
January 22nd, 201010:07 pm
Jordan Schafer Update « Braves Blog
January 22nd, 201010:08 pm
[...] Schafer Update By Mike Montgomery David O’Brien provided an update on Jordan Schafer’s recovery from September wrist surgery on his [...]
January 22nd, 201010:10 pm
Nobody has said anything about Jones the OLD new guy for the Braves.. If he can prove the numbers he put up in the minors, than i would think he would get the nod. And he is A POWER RIGHT HANDER on top of that.
January 22nd, 201010:16 pm
If he can prove the numbers he put up in the minors, braves34
That’s the big question about him alright, 34. Much of that was in hitter friendly PCL parks, and if previous teams really believed he could get it done over a full season in the bigs surely they would have given him a chance.
He might do fine for us but you gotta think the odds of that happening are a little long.
We did talk a good deal about him when his signing was first announced.
January 22nd, 201010:19 pm
HTF, they haven’t announced minor leaguers invited to camp yet.
Lets be honest. there are alot QUESTION marks. For all the guys
January 22nd, 201010:26 pm
yeah there are 34, but that’s true about most teams to one extent or another. If you want to compete yearly without the huge payroll available to some, you gotta take some chances. At least Glaus, for instance, has been a pretty decent hitter as late as 08, when healthy.
Better IMO to take a chance on him being healthy-and the odds on that are pretty good-than to take the chance that some healthy player whose numbers are all over the place from year to year will give us one of his good ones, at least IMO.
just wouldn’t bet against Schafer being traded by August since we have more than a few health questions on the team. We could be tooth and nail with Philly or the Mets by then and like DOB mentioned, one of those two relief guys could go down. So many things could happen that one would be a fool to try and predict anything. TnBrian
So you wouldn’t bet against it, yet you wouldn’t be a fool to try and predict anything? Don’t you try to predict when you bet? And I would predict and bet that Schafer is not going anywhere, for the record.
January 22nd, 201010:27 pm
sorry, yet you would be (not wouldn’t be)
DOB, just your opinion here … what are the odds Braves sign Damon or another FA hitter, 50/50 or more 60/40 in favor? Remember, your opinions mean the world to a lot of people around here.
Braves34, if you’re referring to Brandon Jones, he’s already gone. Got rid of him to fit Hinkse on the 40-man roster.
In a perfect world, Cabrera tears it up for a couple of months (which I think he can; dude’s only 25 and changing leagues), then we trade him in midseason for something we need and get Schaeffer up here. Melky has a higher salary and more trade value; no way they don’t keep Jordan instead unless he’s still struggling.
January 22nd, 201010:29 pm
Talking outfielders only. I didn’t word it correctly. Outfielders drafted out of high school. (Although I think if we expanded it to all positions, McCann would be one of the very few others added to the list of high school draft picks with under 200 at-bats above A-ball.)
Nolie… U SURE are right about taken chances part.. If it doesnt work out i think Wren job should be up in the air.
January 22nd, 201010:32 pm
Grinch I think he is referring to Mitch Jones a big minor league homer hitter who the Braves signed a month or so ago.
as for Melky tearing it up, regardless of league he is coming to a much tougher hitters park that he was in, and mediocre players don’t necessarily get much better just cause they get older.
Like I said, we can all hope.
January 22nd, 201010:35 pm
34, now see I don’t think that at all . I think Wren did a pretty nice job of filling several needs with somewhat limited funds, but that’s subjective for each of us.
On a realistic note, no matter what happens I’m pretty sure the club isn’t gonna fire him even if it all goes sour.
5/95 against signing another hitter.
January 22nd, 201010:37 pm
I think it’s pretty long odds on that too Stone
January 22nd, 201010:41 pm
I mean let’s think about it, say the Braves and Yankees offer Damon or even Nady 2 million. Who would you go to? Hmmm defending world champs who will win 100 or more games this year, in my opinion, or the Braves. Not really a hard choice to me.
January 22nd, 201010:42 pm
I surely think that Wren and the Braves are done, as far as adding another bat, atleast until midseason. But they might surprise me. And they have there fingers crossed. GUARNTEED.
January 22nd, 201010:46 pm
Dayum, not to big of a fan og Matthews Jr. but wow. $1mill a year isnt bad at all.
January 22nd, 201010:47 pm
Wren is going to see where the team is at around june/july and go from there.
Thanks for the new blog Dave! Hate to get out the red pen but there was a “20009″ in the Jordan part and I thought you or someone else this winter made note that he was either building or had bought a house in Cumming.
January 22nd, 201010:48 pm
Zack. The reason it is only a million is cause Mattherws still has MILLIONS coming to him from his old contract.
January 22nd, 201010:50 pm
Got to see Sherlock Holmes last night, have to say I really enjoyed it. But I am a huge fan of Robert Downey.
January 22nd, 201010:52 pm
it’s the same contract braves34, Angels are just paying 21 million of it.
pants on the ground pants on the ground, looking like a fool with your pants on the ground.
“Only talking outfielders. But anyway, Pujols played Juco ball. We’re talking only about guys drafted out of high school, not college players. Pujols was 21 as a rookie, by the way. He was 20 in his only minor league season.”
FYI Markakis played JUCO too like Pujols. Was player of the of the year actually out of ole YHC….as a pitcher. Had a loony toon curve and 95 mph heat. Still the best young lefty I ever saw, like a young Kofax…
January 22nd, 201010:54 pm
surprised the Halos couldn’t get a more favourable deal on Matthews. Very surprised. Paying 21 million???
January 22nd, 201010:57 pm
China, makes me wonder why the Halos were not willing to deal for Derek Lowe.
January 22nd, 201010:58 pm
Hat turned sideways gold in your mouth
January 22nd, 201011:00 pm
perhaps that is the benefit of having an owner, like Artie, as oppossed to owners like the dreaded cuss words of liberty media.
Braves34, I know that. That’s why i said it was a GREAT deal for the mets. Wish we would have done it.
January 22nd, 201011:03 pm
Braves34, I know that. That’s why i said it was a GREAT deal for the mets. Wish we would have done it. Zack
So what we could add him to Melky and together they would make a 4th outfielder? Ok sorry 4 and 1/2.
January 22nd, 2010
I don’t see a poll…………..
as oppossed to owners like the dreaded cuss words of liberty media.
This again? The “cheap” owners who are only paying $95 million while we hover around poor attendance?
Chris from the Rock
January 22nd, 201011:05 pm
Schafer’s the best defensive OF in the organization now. I look forward to seeing him and Heyward patrolling the outfield for years to come.
January 22nd, 201011:06 pm
Just going by the blog posts I have read, jeffrey d. It has just seemed to me tha Liberty media is a cuss word around here. I got no problem with them, they have in fact increased pay roll. But at the same time having one owner who can say yes or no is a lot easier.
January 22nd, 201011:07 pm
and you get 95 millions from where exactly? just curious
January 22nd, 201011:11 pm
cold stone, its a million dollars.
pinch hitter for a million. trade melky, gives you the 3mill from melkys contract.
January 22nd, 201011:13 pm
I don’t know why that poll got eliminated momentarily, but I returned it. And those who voted already, your votes are still accounted for in the poll, thankfully.
But if you haven’t voted, please do.
cold stone, its a million dollars.
pinch hitter for a million. trade melky, gives you the 3mill from melkys contract. ZACH
LOL, all I can say to that one.
January 22nd, 201011:14 pm
Yeah, I’d rather having Matthews Jr. for 1 mil than Melky Cabrera for 3.1.
But at the same time having one owner who can say yes or no is a lot easier
As long as they’re forking over $95 million, I don’t care how many there are. Like I said, we don’t exactly pack the Ted, so I think that’s a pretty reasonable amount.
Staring the year in the majors still leading the way DOB (the poll)
January 22nd, 201011:16 pm
your missing the point jeffrey d, having one owner who can say yes or no to something. Like Ted did back in the day
Cold Stove, I liked Sherlock Holmes, too. I thought Downey Jr. was great. Movie only got so-so reviews, but I really liked it. Not one of the best movies of the year or anything, but very entertaining.
January 22nd, 201011:17 pm
and Jeffrey D why should we pack the stadium right now? Why?
January 22nd, 201011:18 pm
Smack: Oh, hell. Then nevermind. My research has all kinds of holes in it. Didn’t realize Markakis had played juco ball. Let me see if I can massage it to make sense. Thanks for the heads-up.
January 22nd, 201011:19 pm
Thanks for the new blog and the Merle tune. Here’s a video of Merle with Marty Robbins. Purdy funny.
January 22nd, 201011:20 pm
Also watched The Lovely Bones a few days back, thought it was pretty good.
I dunno, Matthews, Jr. seems like another Loaf
January 22nd, 201011:22 pm
My fiancée is making me watch “The Runaway Bride” with her. Can I get a pinch-hitter?
January 22nd, 201011:23 pm
Cold Stove – I agree. The average fan sees an average Braves team and would rather spend their money elsewhere. But just looking at our history a little…
In 2003 we had a powerful offense, Greg Maddux still in the rotation, Smoltz closing, and won 100-something games. Our attendance was just above 30,000. Last season it was a little above 29,000. Pretty close.
I know you work your butt off, but I was just curious how much time you actually spend in the AJC office? I know you said you had some meetings today but is that all you really “go into the office” for?
January 22nd, 201011:24 pm
I think in 2003 we were still breaking the 3 million mark, which is a bench mark for good attendance I believe. Maybe I am wrong but I seem to recall Skip on TV saying and yet another year of the Braves going over the 3 million mark. But I am too lazy to see if 2003 was one of those years.
January 22nd, 201011:25 pm
OK, I think I’ve got it worked out now. Again, thanks for the heads-up Smack. As much as I hate having errors, I hate even worse when they’re not caught by anyone for days on end.
Dave, couldn’t agree more about Schafer. I’ve given thought that he may doing too good at 3A to hold back. Hope he comes back and send McLouth packing! Would love the speed leading off.
January 22nd, 201011:29 pm
Cold Stove, I rarely go to the office. Most of the sports beat people are the same way, none of us have a desk there, but I go in even less than the others because baseball has so many more games than the other sports. No reason to go by the office unless for meetings or to pick up mail or things of that nature. Because the pro basketball and hockey teams play next door to our downtown office, those guys can stop by the office before they go to the game. But that’ll change, too, after our office moves north to the 400/Perimeter area this year.
January 22nd, 201011:30 pm
ok nope, you’re right jeffrey d it was 1997-2000. attendance in 2003 with a far superior team was just a hair higher than this year.
January 22nd, 201011:31 pm
DOB – even now, during the more-often-than-not slow and boring offseason, you don’t stay at the AJC offices? Or do they give you less to do since during the season you’ll be running around the country?
January 22nd, 201011:33 pm
That must be one of the things you really like about your job, DOB. Not having a typical 9-5. But on the flip side I know you have some nice long 16 plus hour days during the season.
January 22nd, 201011:36 pm
Yeah, Cold Stove, I don’t understand our attendance. A great team in 2003 gets 30,000. An OK team in 2007 gets 34,000. A slightly better team in 2009 gets 29,000.
January 22nd, 201011:38 pm
nor do I jeff d. Some will say ahh ATL fans are weak they are this and they are that, but man you go back to the early 90’s fulton county stadium was packed and they were in the games. Especially during the playoffs and playoff runs. Jump forward 10 years we can’t even sell out a post season game. Maybe too many baseball hearts got broken from all the post season failures.
January 22nd, 201011:41 pm
maybe I should say failures cause we would sure like to just get back to the playoffs huh
January 22nd, 201011:43 pm
**shouldn’t** man if I could type that would be like a world series win
January 22nd, 201011:47 pm
Long periods of winning usually create a complacent fan base, except for in major markets. Most Braves fans are hardly excited by anything less than excellence, but if we go long enough without winning, when we come back to the top we’ll have rabid fans again.
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